ING involved in funding Qatar World Cup
ING is heavily involved in funding all kinds of projects and companies in Qatar that are directly and indirectly linked to the World Cup, the Volkskrant reports based on research by Profundo. The Dutch bank's involvement in funding the World Cup in Qatar is controversial given the country's reputation for human rights abuses and reports of thousands of migrant workers dying while building infrastructure and stadiums for the football event.
According to the newspaper, ING has been providing loans to the Qatar National Bank (QNB) for years and is helping the Qatari bank with international bond issues. QNB uses loans from ING to fund projects and companies linked to the World Cup. In 2014, ING called it "worrying" when it was revealed that it was financing companies responsible for labor rights violations. But that did not stop the funding, the Volkskrant reports.
Profundo found that 38 Dutch companies are involved in construction projects in Qatar and that at least 19 Dutch pension funds invest in Qatari government bonds.
Earlier this year, the British newspaper The Guardian reported that 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have died building infrastructure and stadiums for the World Cup in Qatar. Despite these reports and calls for a boycott from the Dutch parliament, the Dutch Cabinet decided to send a delegation to the World Cup at the end of next year.
Foreign Minister Ben Knapen said that while accusations of human rights abuses against Qatar have often been "completely justified," international pressure on the Gulf State to improve matters has helped. The Netherlands is also dependent on Qatar to help evacuate people from Afghanistan. He does not want to tamper with that relationship by saying that there will be no government delegation at the World Cup.